Like many traditional Japanese restaurants, Tonki in Tokyo makes only one dish but it makes it very, very well. We’re talking about tonkatsu, that heavenly slab of deep-fried, panko-breaded pork served in either a fatty (rōsu) or lean (hire) cut—your choice. Here, it’s best to order it as a set, or teishoku, for unlimited helpings of miso soup, white rice, shredded cabbage, Japanese pickles, and sinus-clearing yellow mustard. It’s also wise to sit at the bar downstairs, even if it means waiting for a spot; half of the fun of eating at this nearly 80-year-old Meguro institution is watching the harmoniously synchronized (and pin-drop silent) movements of the kitchen staff, clad in head-to-toe soda jerk whites.
1-1-2 Shimomeguro, Meguro-ku, Tokyo, Japan; 03-3491-9928.